The Egyptian gods are primeval forces that were once worshiped by the Ancient Egyptians. The gods are also created entities, like humans, but are much more powerful. They serve as a bridge between the natural world and the human world. Over time, the Egyptians realized that the gods were not to be worshiped and although they still prayed to them and used their powers, magicians began to train to fight the gods when needed.
Known as the age of the gods, the story of the Egyptian gods is a long and complicated story. According to most versions, Ra was the first god to emerge from the eternal chaos, raising with him the first land mass from the ancient ocean and shining the light of the Sun across creation. This act gave way to the birth of other gods and living things, and Ra ruled as king of the gods. Trouble arose, however, when it was prophesied that Geb and Nut would have a child who would be the next king. Though the couple loved each other dearly and greatly desired children of their own, Ra out of fear decreed that Nut could never bear a child during any day of the year. Defying Ra, Nut devised a loophole, resulting in the creation of the Demon Days, and gave birth to Osiris, Horus, Set, Isis, and Nephthys. For their disobedience, Nut and Geb were forced apart by Shu. At some point, these siblings were reborn into new hosts. In their new lives, Osiris and Isis marry one another and Set and Nephthys also marry. Horus became the unborn son of Isis and Osiris. At some point, Nephthys gives birth to a son by Set, Anubis. Claiming she does not want him to know his father, she asks Osiris to raise him.
At about this time, the chaotic being Apophis begins to attack Ra, who is god of the sun and therefore the source of the life and creation he so hates. The gods rushed to defend him and Sekhmet became the Eye of Ra. Ra soon realized that Sekhmet was too aggressive and violent so he appointed Bast, the goddess of felines, as his new Eye. Set became his loyal lieutenant. Their combined efforts repelled Apophis' attacks, and Ra was able to continue his rule unharmed. Isis, however, desiring to see her husband become the king of gods, tricked Ra into telling her his Secret Name. Using this new found power, she forced him to retreat to the heavens and Osiris took his place, thus fulfilling the ancient prophecy. This enraged Set, and out of jealousy he tricked Osiris on his birthday, trapping him in a golden sarcophagus. He also attempted to murder Isis and an unborn Horus, but was foiled by the intervention of his wife, Nephthys. Horus, once grown, managed to avenge his father by defeating Set and taking back the throne of the gods. Osiris, though unable to return to the living world, was restored to authority as the Lord of the Dead.
As Egyptian dynasties past, the gods continued to host humans, particularly humans with the Blood of the Pharaohs, since they are very suitable to contain the essence of a god. On rare occasions, a god is able to become one with their host, essentially becoming one being that has neither the god or the human in control, but rather a combination of the two working in perfect harmony. This is said to be extremely rare and only happened with mortals that have the blood of the pharaohs.
Around the fall of Egypt, which was caused in part by Cleopatra's failed attempt to host Isis, Magicians began to realize how dangerous the gods are and started an effort to hunt them down and banish them into the Duat under the direction of Chief Lector Iskandar and Thoth who became the only god welcomed by the House of Life. Only a few gods weren't banished: among these are Thoth, Anubis, Bes, Nut, and Geb.
Following the Path of the Gods and using divine magic became forbidden for two thousand years, however Ruby Kane, one of the descendants of the pharaohs, who possessed the power of divination, foresaw the fall of Bast in her battle against Apophis and Apophis' escape and Chaos reigning. Knowing they needed the gods, Ruby secretly contacted Isis who had her free Bast from her prison to recover. Using Cleopatra's Needle, Ruby and her husband Julius (a descendant of another pharaoh) succeeded in freeing Bast, but rejecting power from either Isis or Bast, Ruby sacrificed her life to seal the breach and prevent the escape of Apophis. Julius made a deal with Bast to take a cat named Muffin as a host to protect his daughter Sadie and continued the work of looking for a way to free the gods. Six years later he succeeded in freeing Osiris from the Rosetta Stone with the intention of having Osiris take him as a host then die so Osiris could resume his place in the Duat and take the first steps to restoring Order. However, releasing Osiris also released Set, Horus, Isis and Nephthys who took Amos Kane, Julius' son Carter, Sadie, and Zia Rashid as hosts respectively and set off a chain reaction that released all of the other gods.
The release of the gods started a war with those who supported Set against those who supported Horus as Set tried to use the Demon Days to rise to power as king of the gods once again, using his Red Pyramid to increase his own power, draining the power of Osiris who he captured upon rising. With the help of Bast and a shabti of Zia Rashid, Sadie and Carter Kane battled Set and ultimately managed to become one with the gods they are hosting to battle and banish him. Using his true name (from Nephthys through Zia) they were able to bind him and destroy his pyramid, killing Julius and Osiris, but sending them to Osiris' rightful place in the Duat. As Sadie/Isis prepared to banish Set, she realized that all of this was a trick of Apophis who was manipulating Set by possessing his lieutenant Face of Horror so that he would destroy the North American continent and cause enough chaos for Apophis to escape and destroy the world. Sadie reveals the truth to Set and Carter kills Face of Horror, stopping Apophis' plans for now. Using the fact that they now have Set's Secret Name, the two are able to force him to return to the Duat until summoned and when he returns, fight on their side against Apophis. The two release their gods to return to the Duat where Horus takes up the throne again. Despite the anger of the House of Life, Sadie and Carter announce their intention to gather more descendants of the pharaohs and train them in the Path of the Gods which is the only chance of defeating Apophis.
With Apophis rising, Sadie and Carter work to find and bring back Ra, learning to channel their gods power through divine magic without having to have the gods inside them. One of their initiates is Walt Stone who is a descendant of another pharaoh and cursed to die at a young age as a result. With the help of Anubis (who Sadie falls in love with as well as with Walt) and Bes, the Kanes track down Ra in the House of Rest in the Duat and manage to wake him up, allowing him to return to his throne though he remains senile. This angers Horus who is kicked off the throne as a result. The group also rescues the real Zia Rashid who rejects Nephthys who leaves her. Apophis rises, but Michel Desjardins manages to banish him for a time again with an execration spell, but dies in the process, buying Carter and Sadie more time to train people in the Path of the Gods. However, during the attempt to rescue Ra, Bes loses his ren and becomes mindless as a result and is relegated to the House of Rest.
With Apophis rising again shortly and with all the copies of the Book of Overcoming Apophis destroyed, the House of Life begins to look for a new way to stop the Chaos Serpent and after meeting with Anubis (who is banned from seeing her again for getting too close to her without a mortal form), Sadie Kane comes up with a plan to finally destroy Apophis by destroying his sheut (shadow) with an execration spell. In order to do so, the ghost of evil magician Setne is called upon to help find the sheut and capture it then use a special spell to destroy it. While Carter, Setne, and Zia set off to do that, Walt and Sadie set off to restore Bes' ren using his sheut. After confronting the goddess Neith, they succeed in finding the sheut and discover that restoring it is much more simple than Setne lead them to believe: they simply need to bind it to a shabti and then recite a reverse execration spell and capturing Apophis' sheut will be as simple once it's found. Bes is restored to normal, but the effort takes the last of Walt's energy and he dies. However, as planned between them, Anubis is on hand when Walt dies and takes him as a host, restoring Walt to life. Walt/Anubis sends Sadie to Carter and Zia to help them. The two, despite repeated betrayals by Setne, are able to reach Apophis' sheut, thanks partially to Zia channeling Ra's power as his chosen host and protected from the Sea of Chaos by the amulet he gave her containing the remaining power of Khepri. Sadie rescues the two and capture Apophis' sheut, but an army of demons nearly overwhelms them until an army of senile gods led by Bes and Tawaret arrive to help. With the sheut, the group boards Ra's boat where he takes Zia as a host and is reborn, regaining his sanity. Apophis rises, using two magicians working for him named Sarah Jacobi and Kwai to destroy the House of Life. Carter (once again hosting Horus), Sadie (once again hosting Isis), Amos Kane (once again hosting Set but this time in control) and Walt who has combined with Anubis join the battle and defeat the rebel magicians, killing Jacobi and Kwai. Carter takes his rightful place as pharaoh, aided by Ra's crook and flail given to him by the god and leads the magicians into battle, with even the rebels joining him after Apophis' influence upon their leaders is revealed. Carter also calls upon the gods as pharaoh as well under Ra's direction. All gods, including those who were once his enemy, respond to his call and join battle with Apophis. Apophis swallows Ra, but Carter and Sadie, with both their power and Horus and Isis', cast an execration spell on Apophis' sheut while the other gods distract him, destroying the sheut and Apophis and ending all the Chaos and strife his influence caused in the world. Destroying Apophis releases Ra whole and alive.
After the destruction of Apophis, Ra decides to have the gods exile themselves from Earth for a time though they still play their various roles in the world. Horus and Carter officially become pharaohs of the magicians and the gods respectively, with Horus apparently even ripping off Carter's acceptance speech for his own. However, despite the leaving of the gods, one is allowed to remain on Earth: Anubis who remains in Walt. The two become one being like the pharaohs of old when they were god-kings so Anubis is allowed to stay. This has benefits for both: it allows them both to be with Sadie Kane at the same time who they both love, it allows Walt to live as without Anubis he will die of his curse and it allows Anubis to experience mortal life for the first time as he has never had a human host before, never having needed one. It also allows both Anubis and Walt to experience the joys of life as both were denied that before due to their godhood and the curse hanging over their heads respectively before.
Unlike their Greek, Roman and Norse counterparts, Egyptian Gods do not have demigod children. They also can not walk the mortal world like the other pantheons of Gods without a host body to anchor themselves to the mortal world or else they slip back into the Duat. They are more like beings of energy then physical beings like the other pantheons. Being part of Ma'at means that they have to keep Ma'at and Chaos balanced so they can only be in the world as much as Chaos is. This means currently their involvement is incredibly limited due to the execration of Apophis.
Gods may take on a multitude of appearances. When manifesting in the Duat or using combat magic, they often appear as animal-headed humans. They may also take on the appearance of a human at any time and while fully possessing a host, they may trade their host's appearance for a more preferred one. Gods may also take on the appearance of their favored animal and may shapeshift freely between different forms. Gods also possess the ability to use a glamour and change their appearance.
A god's divine form, which appears in the Duat, is too intense for a mortal and will literally burn them up.
Gods have greatly varied powers that are often specific to their domains, although they may occasionally overlap with similar gods.
Shared powers include immortality, a great deal of magic power, senses and reflexes above that of a mortal, and some amount of shapeshifting.
They may also increase the stored energy of whoever they host.
Gods may at sometime, be immune or resistant to effects of certain Divine Words. Example of this is when Sadie Kane used the Ha-di spell on Sekhmet which did not affect the goddess at all.
Gods of magic, like Isis or Thoth, either with the total possession of their host or in the "perfect union" state with them, has the ability to create portals even on the Demon Days, especially when they are on their own. Ptah, a god of creation has a similar ability in that he can open portals in places where curses prevent that and Bes can't. Also gods of magic have greater power over divine words than ordinary magicians, as while magicians can conjure objects and elements with this magic, these gods can even summon concepts.
The gods, while or after hosting a magician, may leave some of their traces, including their personal habits and their imprint on their host's magic based on its color. For example, Sadie Kane's glyphs are golden due to the goddess who hosted her, Isis while Amos Kane was red because of Set's possession. These traces may also allow former hosts to control animals that come under the gods authority. For example, Carter Kane was able to control the griffin Freak due to it recognizing him as a former host of Horus who it served.
Gods can remain as an echo inside the mind of their previous host, allowing them access to places to wherein they are locked against but their host is not as demonstrated by Horus in his conversation with Carter Kane inside the Hall of Ages in The Throne of Fire.
Gods may hasten the development of the abilities of whoever they host.
Gods are almost omnipresent. Their presence can be anywhere at once. Even though they banished into the Duat, they are aware, conscious, and knowing of what is happening to the mortal world as demonstrated by Bast, Isis and the others. Take Bast for an example. It was said that all that time, she was bound to Apophis in the abyss, but she states in The Red Pyramid that she protected the children of the Pharaohs.
Gods can possess multiple beings or locations at once with just parts of the ba. Set possessed both the Red Pyramid and Amos Kane, Bast possessed both Muffin while in the Duat and another cat in Egypt to communicate with Sadie Kane and Walt Stone.
Gods can possess beings even from their prisons. Apophis possessed Face of Horror from his weakened prison with just a sliver of his ba to manipulate Set. He was also able to possess several minions during The Throne of Fire before he escaped including a bau.
A useful power that the gods have is the ability to see magicians ba and even influence where it goes. The greatest extent of this ability was that while Carter Kane was asleep, Horus, the war god was able to pull his ba into his own body.
If they have a symbol like a tyet, it may be possible for a god to create a seal on an entrance or exit to prevent it opening.
If near a powerful Ma'at focal point like the Washington Monument gods can draw power from it to increase their magic. This may however, in the case of a human host be only accomplished in the perfect union or total possession. Set is an exception being a god of evil and chaos. Magicians also have an ability in when using the Divine Words they can draw energy from Ma'at which is similar.
Gods and their hosts have the ability to see past concealment spells.
If two gods are siblings and one of them has power over a physical domain like a river and can communicate through it, the other if near this domain will be able to commune with the former if he\she is on the same side of the Duat.
Gods and their hosts have increased control over their Ba. Sadie while the host of Isis was able to change hers in to a replica of her own body and Carter while the host of Horus was able to send his, while awake, in to the throne room of the gods.
Most major male gods have high levels of superhuman strength. The most noticeable, are the baboon god Babi and the crocodile god Sobek.
In combat, gods can summon Egyptian battle wear. Anubis was able to do this, along with Ra. This can also extend to weapons as the former was able to summon a was staff and the latter was able to alter his staff and wand.
Gods have a resistance to fire attacks and can simply flick them with their hand to one side.
If they don't have a living host, instead of being encased in an avatar when in combat certain god's can grow in size. They can also to it while in the Duat.
Gods have a resistance to Chaos energy so they are not incinerated while near the Sea of Chaos or Apophis. This extends to their hosts, even if they are in control.
If a god has the talent, they can create advanced portals in the form of doors of darkness. They are advanced because they don't need artifacts and are not affected by magical disturbances. Also they can open to different places in the Duat, unlike portals, which have to be opened at the start of the River of the Night.
Gods can break out of non-powerful magic bonds and spells very fast and easily. Horus was able to break out of Set's magic restraints with no trouble and Set almost immediately after was able to transform back in to himself seconds after being forced to assume the form of a fruit bat.
Gods can at least briefly use a demigod as a host. Nekhbet was able to briefly use Percy Jackson, son of Poseidon as a host to battle Setne. However, this was dangerous as demigods are not Blood of the Pharaohs and are related to a different pantheon of gods.
Limitations and Weaknesses
- Gods must take a host to appear in the mortal world for any significant length of time. Without a host, they will quickly fall back into the Duat; exceptions to this rule are Nut, Geb, Anubis, Bes and apparently Thoth, as Nut's and Geb's hosts are the Sky and Earth respectively.
- Most gods are unable and become weak whenever crossing a moving body of water, (ex. a river) because of the tugging force of nature. Exceptions to this rule include Nephthys, Sobek, and Khnum, being river gods themselves.
- Gods, at times, are limited outside their territory as said by Anubis in The Throne of Fire.
- Gods also have a rule, of which they are not to so often directly interfere with magicians and mortals, in exception if they have a host. For example, unless they have a human host, they may not have romantic relationships with mortals. With a host it's okay.
- Gods can be banished back deep into the Duat either by being killed, which is possible, or by ensnaring them through very powerful and effective magical items such as the Seven Ribbons of Hathor. A magician can also banish them through certain spells that require their Secret Name for or through execration. However, they will eventually return as killing them just kills their mortal body and drains their power, and the banishment will eventually end.
- Gods can remain locked and imprisoned in the Duat despite regaining their strength.
- Gods, once banished deep into the Duat through death, may take years, decades, or hundreds to resurface the mortal world until they are strong enough to return. However, this can apparently be sped up by other gods as Bast was said to not be able to return for centuries after dying but returns within several weeks as part of a gift from the gods.
- Gods have a great tendency to fall into patterns, repeating the actions and conflicts of their ancient selves. In order to break these cycles, they must have a human's creativity, often leading them to possess a human host.
- Gods can actually be destroyed if a magician casts a shadow execration spell on their sheut. According to Carter Kane, this is because if a person casts no shadow at all, their existence is meaningless. Destroying a sheut cuts all ties to the mortal world that being has as well as the fact that the sheut is an important part of the soul. This is used to destroy Apophis, though it takes the combined power of Carter and Sadie Kane as well as Horus and Isis to do without Carter and Sadie being destroyed in the process. Gods keep knowledge of this secret so it can't be used against them as a magician threatening to execrate their sheut is effective blackmail against them.
- If Ra the sun god is missing, the gods start to lose power slowly. Worse, if Ra is destroyed all the other gods are destroyed as well.
- Gods lack the power to permanently destroy each other. Examples are the fights between Horus and Set, Bast and Sobek, and Ra and Apophis. They are able to temporarily "kill" each other, but they always rise again eventually.
- Bast mentioned that it is possible for gods to cease to exist if they expend too much energy without stopping to rest. However, this is clearly quite a lot, as Bast and Apophis dueled continuously for thousands of years nonstop but did not cease to exist.
Known Egyptian gods
- Anubis: The god of death, embalming and funeral rites and Sadie Kane's love interest. He is the son of Nephthys and Set, but was raised by Osiris. Walt Stone is his host.
- Apophis: The god of chaos, darkness and night, Lord of Isfet. He is known to be the main antagonist in the The Throne of Fire and The Serpent's Shadow. Permanently destroyed by Carter and Sadie Kane with a shadow execration. Only god to ever be permanently killed.
- Babi: The god of Baboons. He represents the other characteristics of primates such as being uncontrolled and wild. His previous host was Mr. Faust (Gramps).
- Bast: The goddess of cats, and the Eye of Ra, she protects Sadie and Carter Kane and her host is Muffin.
- Bes: God of Dwarves. He replaces Bast as Carter and Sadie's protector until his soul was eaten by Khonsu in The Throne of Fire. It was returned using his shadow in The Serpent's Shadow.
- Geb: God of earth. He was separated from his wife, Nut, for disobeying Ra.
- Heket: The frog-goddess of birth and rebirth. Khnum, her husband, made children out of clay in his potter's wheel and Heket gave them the breath of life and placed them in their mother's womb.
- Horus: The falcon god of revenge and pharaohs. His host is Carter Kane. He is the son of Isis and Osiris.
- Isis: The goddess of magic and motherhood. Her known hostess is Sadie Kane. The wife of Osiris and the mother of Horus.
- Khepri: God of the Morning Sun. He is the morning and 2nd aspect of Ra.
- Khnum: God of fertility, water, and procreation. He made man out of clay in his potter's wheel. He is the evening and 3rd aspect of Ra.
- Khonsu: The god of the moon. He was defeated by Nut in a gambling game, thus having Nut win enough moonlight to create the Demon Days. He has also the ability to control, reverse, and create time (out of moonlight).
- Mekhit: The minor lioness-goddess of war. She currently resides at Sunny Acres with her husband, Onuris.
- Neith: Goddess of hunting, wisdom, battle, and weaving. Despite being the wisdom goddess, she is slightly insane.
- Nekhbet: The goddess of vultures, who protects the pharaoh if he proved himself to be strong enough. Her previous host was Mrs. Faust (Gran). Briefly hosted by Greek demigod Percy Jackson to battle Setne.
- Nephthys: The goddess of mourning, lamentation, sleep, rivers, the night and protector of the dead. She is Set's wife. Her host was Zia Rashid.
- Nut: Goddess of the sky and wife to Geb. She was forced away from her husband because she defied Ra.
- Onuris: A war god. His spouse is Mekhit.
- Osiris: Lord of the Dead, husband to Isis. His host is Julius Kane.
- Ptah: God of craftsman and creation.
- Ra: The god of the sun. Appeared in The Throne of Fire as a very senile old god. His favorite sayings are "I like zebras" and "Weasels are sick". His only known host is Zia Rashid, which restored his mind. Ra is also the father of Tefnut.
- Sekhmet/Hathor: Hathor is the cow-headed goddess of love, beauty, and music. Hathor is the wife of Horus.
- Serqet: The goddess of scorpions, snakes, venom, and protection.
- Set: The god of storms and the desert and husband to Nephthys. His host was Amos Kane. He is the antagonist of The Red Pyramid.
- Shu: God of the wind and father of Geb and Nut. He keeps them apart as part of their punishment by Ra.
- Sobek: The crocodile god of rivers, who is loyal to Ra.
- Tawaret: Goddess of hippos and the protector of pregnant mothers.
- Thoth: The god of knowledge, wisdom, magic, ibises, and baboons.
- Wadj-wer: God of fertility and incarnation of the Mediterranean Sea. He does not appear in person during the saga, because, as Setne claims, he has been forgotten, so he is probably one of the gods locked in Sunny Acres, or has simply ceased to exist. He is mentioned by the ghost Setne when revealing his plan to absorb his power and become a god in the Brooklyn House Magician's Manual.
- Amos Kane states that the Egyptians gods are at the root of Western civilization, but it is not explicitly confirmed whether they are tied to it the same way the Greek gods are. It is known, however, that the Egyptian gods can manifest wherever Egyptian culture is prevalent, such as the United States of America.
- Amos mentioned that Manhattan has their own gods, probably referring to the Greek Gods from the Percy Jackson and the Olympians and The Heroes of Olympus series also made by Rick Riordan.
- Thoth vaguely refers to Hermes when talking about Hermopolis and implies that they don't get along. This implies that the two pantheons have interacted in the past.
- Interestingly, in Percy Jackson's Greek Gods, Percy mentions that since most of the Olympian gods fled from Typhon all the way to Egypt in the form of animals, they might have induced Egyptian myths about "gods with animal heads." However, Percy admits that this is unlikely since Egyptian myths are much older than Greek ones. Since The Kane Chronicles is confirmed to exist in the same universe as Percy Jackson and the Olympians, this statement is untrue as the Egyptian gods are a separate pantheon from the Greek gods.
- In Throne of Fire, Carter mentions that when he looked from Brooklyn House to Manhattan, he saw a flying horse. This was likely Blackjack or another Camp Half Blood pegasus.
- The Egyptian Gods are the only pantheon to physically appear in Rick Riordan's books to not have demigod children, as the Greek/Roman and Norse were shown to have Demigod children while the Yoruba Demigod Olujime showed his own pantheon having them. In addition, the Rick Riordan Presents series to feature gods feature Demigods, as seen with Aru Shah and Zane.
- The Egyptian Gods divine forms are similar to the Titans, as they can incinerate any mortal just by being in their presence.
- The Egyptian Gods share a similarity with Kronos, due to how Kronos and most Egyptian Gods have to have hosts to stay in the mortal world.
- The Red Pyramid, page 188, complete ebook edition